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David Madden Likes Silent We Stood

February 9, 2014

Tags: David Madden, Civil War Book Review, Silent We Stood

David Madden, novelist, historian, and all-around man of letters, just wrote a very kind review of Silent We Stood at Civil War Book Review. Here’s an excerpt:

“More than many Civil War novelists, Chappell is fully in command of the art of fiction. To contrast Joseph's response to violence against slaves, Chappell uses the device of juxtaposition. Feeling the eyes of maimed slaves upon him causes ‘the skin on his back’ to tighten ‘like scabrous wounds.’ Chappell juxtaposes that line to ‘Images flashed: thick, hard scars, the nubs on Bekah's hand,’ where two fingers had been hacked off. For Bekah the miasma from the river bottom is a metaphor for the ambience of slavery. “You breathe in that miasma and it gets all over your insides.’ To express a parallel of her feelings to Joseph's, Chappell juxtaposes that line to “Joseph, feverish and chilled, dreamed of being buried alive.’

“Especially memorable are the chapters describing the town on fire and the responses of the people; the torture of Bekah and Samuel, who is innocent of setting the fire but who confesses to save her; Joseph, Samuel, and Bekah hiding a runaway mother and child, both of whom die; and a chapter delineating the vacillating mentality of Reverend Boedeker.

“Ending on a personal note, I am eager to say that, as a Civil War novelist and historian, I regard Silent We Stood as being among the finest Civil War novels I have ever read.”

Thank you David Madden!



Selected Work

Novels
"I regard Silent We Stood as being among the finest Civil War novels I have ever read"
  • David Madden, Civil War Book Review
  • "Blood Kin is historical fiction at its best."
  • Bruce Winders, Historian and Curator, The Alamo
  • "The finest book on buffalo hunting and the resulting conflict with the Comanches that I have ever read."
  • Doris R. Meredith, Roundup
  • Non-fiction Books
    "Sharp and colorful also describe the economical prose of sports and wildlife writer Henry Chappell"
  • Elaine Wolff, San Antonio Current
  • Magazine Work
    Articles and Reviews
    Feature Articles
    Columns and Feature Articles